Return of the Pharaoh

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Return of the Pharaoh is a book by Zainab al Ghazali. It relates how, accused of conspiring to kill Gamal Abdel Nasser, the president of Egypt, in 1965, the author was arrested and imprisoned. While awaiting trial, she was subjected to torture.

Return of the Pharaoh describes the ordeal which this Muslim activist went through in the notorious Egyptian prison. Instead of dampening her enthusiasm for Islam and the Islamic movement, her prison experiences increased her commitment and dedication to the cause of Islam. This autobiographical work can be considered a historic document in that its author was an active witness to one of the most volatile periods of Egypt's contemporary history.


Zaynab Al-Ghazali Al-Jubaili was born in Egypt in 1917. At the age of twenty, she formed a major women's charitable organization which rendered service to the poor, orphans and the underprivileged. Although she had acquaintance with Shaikh Hasan al-Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood (al-Ikhwan al-Muslimun), since the late 1930s and actively participated in many Islamic programmes, she formally joined the Muslim Brotherhood in 1948. After the assassination of Hassan al-Banna in 1949, she played a major role in the re-organization of the Muslim Brotherhood. She was arrested in 1965 for an alleged conspiracy to kill Gamal Abdel Nasser and overthrow his government. She was released from prison in 1971 during Anwar Sadat's presidency. In addition to being very active in Da'wah work, Zainab al Ghazali has been a prolific writer, contributing regularly to major Islamic journals and periodical. Her latest book is a two-volume study on the Tafsir of the Qur'an.


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